From modeling with Naomi Campbell to songwriting with John Legend, some of the most influential Black celebrities in the game have shared their secrets to success on the educational streaming platform MasterClass.
Comedian, actor and entrepreneur Kevin Hart is the latest celebrity to join the platform’s ranks with “How to Use Humor to Leave Your Mark,” available now exclusively to subscribers on MasterClass.
I have to admit I wasn’t convinced I could learn anything from anyone who makes a living telling jokes. And I won’t sit here and tell you he said anything that actually changed my life. But at the end of the hour, I was surprised to take away a few little nuggets of wisdom I didn’t know I needed to hear.
Own the Room With Humor
One of my favorite parts of my job is the opportunity to meet new people. But as much as I love it, I can’t help but go into each experience with butterflies in my stomach. I tend to worry about things that could happen before they’re even an issue. And obsessing over these “what ifs” can be pretty nerve-racking.
But Hart suggests that when it comes to breaking the ice, we should remove the assumption that there’s ice that needs breaking in the first place. Thinking we’re walking into a cold room can create tension that may not exist. And of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a good joke in your back pocket to start things off.
Use Your Fear As Fuel
Fear of failure is often one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of our goals. But Hart tells us that even our losses have the potential to become wins. “The beauty of failure is that it’s just a moment,” he says in the class.
Failure in one area can set us up for another opportunity or serve as motivation to improve – which is why we shouldn’t shy away from stepping outside of our comfort zone. Whether it’s spiders or speeches, Hart challenges us to face our fears head on. “Let your fear be the gasoline to your car,” he says.
Believe in Your Dreams
I have lots of dreams – a month-long sabbatical on a remote island to recharge my battery, retiring on a remote island while I’m young enough to enjoy it (notice a pattern here?). Most of the time, I write them off as just that – outrageous goals I’ll never actually attain in real life.
But Hart says there’s nothing wrong with being confident in your dreams. Because if you don’t believe, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says or does.
Position Yourself Around People Who Are Making Moves
Ok, so Kevin Hart isn’t the first personal to tell me this – my mom has been shouting this from the rooftop my entire life. If you’re the only person with goals in your friend group, you need new friends. When you’re shooting for success, it always helps to have people around you who are just as motivated.
In his class, Hart says he surrounds himself with people he admires and reminds us that iron sharpens iron. So, if you’re trying to get somewhere in life – personally or professionally – make sure your crew is about making moves too.
Hold Yourself Accountable
In the class, Hart tells us that he has lots of conversations with himself about the things he wants to achieve and has no problem looking in the mirror when things don’t get done. In order to reach your goals, he says, you have to be willing to do the work and call yourself out when you don’t do things you said you were going to do.
From my daily to-do list to my list of New Year’s resolutions, I have a bad habit of writing down goals that get overlooked. Now, it’s time I started answering to myself.